Market Overview

Copiers Sticking With The Same Jam?

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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the employment landscape in a dramatic fashion. Many companies that had never considered work from home have gone fully remote with no plans to bring people back to the office in the near future. This has had a rather profound effect on companies that rely on the sale of copiers and printers.

 During the pandemic, the offices that have gone fully remote are not using their copiers nearly as frequently. This could lead to reduced service and maintenance costs for the supplier. The less the machine is used, the fewer repairs and supplies it needs, and the more profitable that service and supplies contract becomes.

 The flip side to this though, is that companies may not wish to renew their contracts if they have decided to go entirely remotely. The lack of demand could have a negative impact on the bottom line for manufacturers. The business consumers may still need their copier though. Digitization of documents is more essential now than ever, and many copiers are capable of scanning fifty to one hundred pages at a time and uploading them to a server with the push of a button. With so many employees working remotely, a central repository and the need for digitization is higher than it has ever been.

 Companies such as Docuware ($DOCU), Google Drive ($GOOG/$GOOGL), Microsoft ($MSFT), and Dropbox ($DBX) provide cloud document management services. The copy machine manufacturers offer similar but lesser-known services that may help them to stay competitive with appropriate marketing. Examples include Xerox’s ($XRX) DocuShare and HP’s ($HPE) Therefore.

The pandemic has provided a boost in sales of home printers and the ink cartridges that go with them. Will the change in demand lead these companies to adapt and focus more on the home printing, digitization, and document management sides of their business, or will they stay the course and bet on a return to the office and the need for larger printers? These are questions that only time will answer. 

 

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